Tuesday, February 23, 2010

How to Get From A to B

Have you ever heard kids sing "Don't step on the crack or you'll break your mother's back?"  Well, if you haven't let me explain.  Kids love to step over cracks in the sidewalk, pavement, floor tiles, you name it.  I don't particularly love the phrase (especially because I am a mom and don't need any back problems!)  This game as silly as it is, is great for movement exploration.

When choosing to move from point A to point B, the possibilities are endless. You can choose to move in a straight line, a curve or a zig-zag pathway.  Or you can choose different steps to get there: hop, skip, tip- toe, jump,etc.  You can move fast or slow.  You can choose to move in different levels (high, middle and low) and you can choose to move over cracks, around cracks and through them.

Movement Activity:
Dancing On, Over, Around and Through
I love painter's tape.  It is such an easy tool to use.  The tape can be applied to the floor easily, and it comes up without a mess, won't leave a mark and takes seconds to remove.  Especially if you work in so many different spaces, it can be invaluable because you can mark off you movement space ( I make a square and call it the movemet square.)

This activity uses painter's tape to makes "cracks" on the floor.  You can design zig-zags, curves and straight lines on the floor.  You can do shapes or even letters or numbers. The choice is yours.

  1. Design the floor with various lines, shapes and letters.  Ask the kids what they see.  Observation is a great skill and children can learn a lot by verbalizing what they see.
  2. The children can dance on any of the lines.  See if they can walk on the lines.  After they have mastered this challenge ask them to jump, tip-toe, skip, etc.on the lines. 
  3. Next,  change the tempo.  It's fun to continue an activity and change the music.  Ask the kids if they notice a difference in their movements with the different tempos and music selections.  Observations are always encouraged!
  4. You gueseed it.  Try it again moving in different levels.  Is it harder to move in one level then another?
  5. And lastly can they jump over lines, can they move around them without touching them and can they run, hop, skip and leap through them? 
Like many activities, you can choose to do some or all of the steps.  Never be afraid to repeat activities either.  Kids learn by repetition and master skills by practice. 

Have fun and let all the moms out their know what you are exploring in case they feel a twinge in their backs!

Keep exploring and observing all the up down movements with the children in your life!


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